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High-calibre business leaders to develop innovative models to accelerate carbon cutting and present to policy experts at Dishaa Venture from 29 November-3 December 2011 in London, UK

In 2010, 90000 people were employed in the UK by Indian firms, with many more involved in the activities of British firms in India. Indeed, o
ver 1 million people travel between the UK and India every year. There is a growing level of mutual investment between the two nations, but increased communication and collaboration between leaders from both countries is needed to support this.

This is why leadership development organisation Common Purpose’s Dishaa Venture aims to expand, enrich and energise relations between India and the UK by investing in the development of the next generation of leaders from the two countries. Common Purpose Ventures bring together diverse groups of leaders to foster discussion and build shared approaches to 21st century political, economic and social challenges.

The Dishaa Venture is run in partnership with the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office and sponsored by United Business Media (UBM), Tilda, Cisco, Fly Kingfisher and PwC. British Prime Minister David Cameron is patron of Dishaa and launched the Venture in July 2010.

Deepak Kapoor, Chairman, PwC India explains why his organisation is proud to sponsor the Dishaa Venture: "What the world needs today is a compelling vision to drive and deliver change. It's a matter of pride for PwC India to be associated with the Dishaa Venture, which is doing this by bringing together diverse groups of young leaders from the UK and India to collaborate and work for a better tomorrow."

Jennifer Duvalier, Group People & Culture Director, UBM explains why her organisation sponsors the Dishaa Venture: "UBM is a keen supporter of Dishaa, believing that individuals learn most powerfully when they have the opportunity to engage with impactful development experiences and to share their learning journey with a diverse network of fellow learners.”

“Dishaa showed me that by working together with a diverse group of people from both the UK and India, there is so much we can do and so many changes we can make in the world for the better” said Vandana Saxena Poria, CEO of Get Through Guides Pvt. Ltd and a graduate of the first Dishaa Venture held in Pune, India in February 2011.

Founder and Chief Executive of Common Purpose Julia Middleton said: "The links between the UK and India are long standing but more importantly, they are deep, edgy, thoughtful and multi-dimensional. By learning together the participants will be able to enrich the connections between both countries and produce some very exciting ideas.”

Participants in this, the second Dishaa Venture, are skilled and respected practitioners in their fields and looking to effect change both in their organisations and wider society. The diverse group, 20 from the UK and 20 from India, will come together in London from 29 November to 3 December to develop their leadership skills by meeting, interviewing and debating with a range of leaders, all operating in very different contexts. Bringing this group together will expand the existing partnerships, friendships and dialogues that are already taking place between leaders in India and the UK.

Key information

  • Four-day intensive Venture in London, UK – 29 November-3 December 2011
  • Continued development of solutions with expert advisors and mentors using Cisco TelePresence, December 2011 - June 2012
  • Presentation of solutions to a panel of policy experts, Autumn 2012
  • Participants from organisations including Hindustan Unilever, Welsh Government, British Red Cross, Government of Uttarakhand, Rajiv Ghandi Foundation, Standard Chartered, 3i, BAE Systems and Vodafone Group Plc
  • Interviews with and quotes from stakeholders, spokespersons, participants and alumni of Dishaa available
  • Photographs and videos from both current and previous Dishaa Ventures available
  • At each event the participants will be presented with a challenge to explore. They will investigate the challenge locally, and work together to come up with ideas and recommendations. Each year a different challenge will be selected for that year's participants to investigate.
  • This Dishaa challenge is: Unique carbon cutting measures are happening locally in India and the UK. How do we accelerate and multiply our actions to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in the next five years?
  • The challenge for the last Dishaa Venture in February 2011 was: Heart surgery at $1,000 (USD) - what has to change in how society operates and innovates to make this a reality? The final report which includes models and solutions from this is available upon request.
  • Availability to accompany Dishaa participants as they visit corporations, community projects and local government initiatives to investigate the carbon reduction challenge. 

Dishaa challenge this year is: How do we accelerate and multiply our actions to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in the next five years?

If no action is taken to reduce emissions, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could reach double its pre-industrial level as early as 2035.

Addressing this issue requires both developed and newly industrialised countries to work innovatively together. Unique carbon cutting measures are happening locally in both India and the UK, but can those actions be accelerated and multiplied to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in the next five years?

This is the challenge that participants on the Dishaa Venture, run by leadership development organisation Common Purpose, will be tackling this week. Many of the participants are from member organisations of the India UK CEO Forum their presence showing how crucial tackling this challenge will be for stimulating global economic growth. Member organisations participating in Dishaa include:

  • Hindustan Unilever
  • ITC Limited
  • Bharti Enterprises
  • Standard Chartered
  • 3i
  • BAE Systems
  • JCB
  • Vodafone Group Plc

These business sector participants will be working with those from the public sector and NGOs to foster discussion and build shared approaches to this challenge. The diverse group of participants, 20 from the UK and 20 from India, are skilled and respected practitioners in their fields and looking to effect change both in their organisations and wider society.

During the Venture, held in London from 29 November to 3 December, they will meet with carbon experts including:

  • Lord Nick Stern, Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (also a member of the Dishaa Advisory Group and UK-India roundtable)
  • Ian Short, Chief Executive, Institute for Sustainability
  • Nafees Meah, Head of Science, Climate, Energy, Science and Analysis, Department of Energy and Climate Change.

They will undertake research tasks beforehand, develop their thinking and work together to come up with innovative approaches to the challenge. They will then present their findings and models to a cross sector group of policy experts from the UK and India, potentially leading to future policy change that could help tackle what Lord Stern calls “one of the defining problems of the 21st century.”

Common Purpose

Common Purpose is an independent international leadership development organisation. Over the past 21 years, Common Purpose has designed and delivered courses that help people at all stages of their career become more effective leaders in society.

Common Purpose runs courses that give people from the private, public and not-for-profit sector the inspiration, skills and connections to become better leaders both at work and in society. Common Purpose helps people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed, by broadening the horizons of their leaders and developing their ability to work together and lead complex change.

For more information, please visit event website and or contact

Isabella Betkowski
Communications and Alumni Officer
T: +44 (0) 207 608 8122
M: +44 (0) 7958 560 943

The statements or opinions or review is by a third party/ or the organiser and are not necessarily agreed or authorised or endorsed by

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